Local Investor to develop 100 MW from Solar Energy

The private sector is to develop a-100 megawatts (MW) of solar energy in Ethiopia for the first time, according to the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE).

A local investor, who will build the solar farm, has been identified following the culmination of the bidding process, Bizuneh Tolcha, public relations head at the ministry told FBC.

He said preparations are underway to ink the final agreement with the inventor.

The solar energy farm will be built around Metehara, 200 km southeast of the capital Addis Ababa, he said.

After selling the power it generated to the government for 20 consecutive years, the investor will hand over the farm to the government, Bizuneh added.

The construction of the farm is expected to take 7-8 years.

According to the head, Ethiopia has designed favorable policy and strategies for the private sector to engage in hydropower, wind and solar energy development.

The country has been providing various incentives to attract more foreign and local investors and companies in the sector.

In addition to solar energy, the private sector investors are participating in the development of geothermal energy, he said citing the agreements signed with two Canadian companies for the development of geothermal energy at Corbetti and Tulu Moye as cases in point.

Each company is expected to generate 500MW.

Ethiopia seeks to raise its power generation capacity to 17, 347 by 2020. It has so far developed 4, 284 MW and the construction of projects that have the capacity to generate 9,000 MW is also underway in various parts of the country.